The King and the Oak

The King and the Oak


Before the shadows slew the sun the kites were soaring free,

And Kull rode down the forest road, his red sword at his knee;

And winds were whispering round the world: "King Kull rides to the sea."


The Legacy of Tubal-Cain

The Legacy of Tubal-Cain


No more!" they swear; I laugh to hear them speak.

And Tubal-Cain who lurks where the shadows shake:

"Break up the swords!" his jaws like iron creak;

"Faster than you may break them, I shall make!"

Yes, break the swords--the old were far too blunt--

Make newer blades with edges diamond keen,

That when we strike, the breasts that bear the brunt

May thrill to beauty of their deathly sheen--

Oh, men who died in Flanders' bloody field,

Against the days to be, Death is your shield.


Robert E. Howard

The Apache Mountain War (Breckingridge Elkins)

WesternBreckingridge Elkins
The Apache Mountain War

Some day, maybe, when I'm old and gray in the whiskers, I'll havesense enough not to stop when I'm riding by Uncle Shadrach Polk'scabin, and Aunt Tascosa Polk hollers at me. Take the last time, for instance. I ought to of spurred Cap'n Kidd into a high run when she stuck her head out'n the winder and yelled: "Breck_in_ridge! Oh, _Breck_inri_ddd_gggge!"

But I reckon pap's right when he says Nater gimme so much muscle she didn't have no room left for brains. Anyway, I reined Cap'n Kidd around, ignoring his playful efforts to bite the muscle out of my left thigh, and I rode up to the stoop and taken off my coonskin-cap. I said: "Well, Aunt Tascosa, how air you all?"

"You may well ast how air we," she said bitterly.




I have not heard lutes beckon me, nor the brazen bugles call,

But once in the dim of a haunted lea I heard the silence fall.

I have not heard the regal drum, nor seen the flags unfurled,

But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world.


I have not seen the horsemen fall before the hurtling host,

But I have paced a silent hall where each step waked a ghost.

I have not kissed the tiger-feet of a strange-eyed golden god,

But I have walked a city's street where no man else had trod.





Red leaned his elbows upon the table and cursed. The candle guttered low. The bottle was empty, and a slow fire coiled in our brains--the fire which devours and consumes and destroys but never leaps into full wild flame.


The Vision

The Vision

I cannot believe in a paradise

Glorious, undefiled,

For gates all scrolled and streets of gold

Are tales for a dreaming child.


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